Entry 101: Problems


A few weeks ago I discovered a nail in one of my car’s tires. Somewhat bitterly I pulled out the jack and refreshed my memory on how to change a tire. Pulling off the tire, I tossed it into the back of my other car for a trip to the tire shop. Only as I walked to the driver’s side of the second car did I notice a silver nail poking its head out of yet another tire.

Now even more annoyed, I weighed the consequences of driving my second car to the shop with a nail in the tire and another punctured tire in the back. Seeing that the tire was still inflated I chose to take the risk, managing to make it to the shop before the tire deflated. A handful of dollars and a few hours later I returned home with two patched tires, frustrated by this seemingly significant problem.

Again last week I felt the same feeling of frustration as I discovered that my flight to New Jersey had been delayed. This caused a chain reaction that would cause me to miss my flight to The Netherlands. The feeling of annoyance only grew as I sat flying in the opposite direction towards Chicago and then again as I flew past The Netherlands on my way to Frankfurt, Germany. Thousands of miles later and half a day late, I landed in Amsterdam, only to find that because of my flight changes my bag had been temporarily misplaced.

Put off by my bad luck, I have shared both of these stories with friends and coworkers. After telling these stories a few times, I am beginning to realize that there is another problem, me.

These stories are not about bad luck. On the contrary in fact, they are stories about blessings. Only recently am I beginning to understand that the more opportunities or possessions one has, the more likely something is to eventually go wrong. Many issues defined as problems would not occur without the blessing they are tied to. One cannot have car trouble without a car or travel concerns without going somewhere. The same concept can be applied in all sorts of “problems” with things such as work, school, family and more. Each of these problems come from opportunities that many people in this world would be immeasurably grateful to have.

I will not deny you your problems. Often they are very real and keenly felt. Pay attention, however. You might have a chance to step back and understand where some of life’s problems come from. Do not forget to focus on the greater blessing from which a small problem has grown.